The Nagas

Hill Peoples of Northeast India

Project Introduction The Naga Database

typescript 'Village Organization Among the Central Nzemi Nagas', M.A. thesis by Ursula Betts

caption: Chapter six: Cycle migration
caption: effects of Kuki immigration on cycle-migration; symptoms of over-population; attempts to introduce wet-rice terraced agriculture; reasons for failure
medium: theses
ethnicgroup: NzemiKuki
location: Asalu Jenam R. Hajaichak (Haijaichak) Kepelo Hegokulwa (Hegokuloa) Laisong Baladhan Thingje
person: Betts/ U.V.
date: 1950
refnum: M.A. thesis, University College, London
note: footnotes indicated by boxes within square brackets
text: It remains to consider the effects on the Central Nzemi system of cycle-migration of Kuki immigration and the delimitation of permanent village boundaries unrelated to the original territories or heram-rai which, prior to 1855, the Central Nzemi found necessary for the production of an adequate food-supply.
text: It was brought to the notice of the administration as early as 1927 that the Asalu area and the Jenam Valley south of Laisong contained large areas of grassland and that there was little or no regeneration on these grassland tracts. Fields were being cultivated, often at five-year intervals, on land which had not received for many years any layer of humus; scarcity had occurred and was likely to recur; and the Central (135) Nzemi area in general showed symptoms of progressive over-cultivation apparently due to over-population. The constant litigation and disputes between neighbouring Nzemi and Kuki villages, the requests for the revision of boundaries and the almost incessant cases of trespass where one village cultivated fields on another's land, also suggested that the population was larger than the area could support by the existing system of shifting cultivation favoured by both tribes. An attempt was accordingly made by the Government to introduce wet-rice cultivation on permanent terraces. By this system the need to leave large areas to regenerate over a term of years was obviated and the amount of land required to feed a given population was considerably decreased. But, as Leach has pointed out, [9 [Record T86866][Record T86867]